Thursday, December 20, 2012

Grandma and Grandpa Come to Town

Since we weren't able to spend Thanksgiving with Grandpa Mike and Grandma Susie, they came down to visit us the weekend following. And as I seem to be writing quite a bit these days, I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I would I have liked.

The first night they were in town, Grandma and Grandpa stayed home with the kids so that Tom and I could go out for the evening.  We spent the first couple of hours of our date at a TAMU-sponsored jazz reception, and then capped off the night with a beer and appetizer at a local bar.  The kids had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa, making spaghetti, making music, and pretending to sleep (?).  If only pretend sleeping would ever turn into ACTUAL sleeping.

On Saturday we walked to the park, fed the ducks, played on the playground, did a little shopping, and watched a LOT of football. Nebraska and Wisconsin played one another for the Big 10 Title, and somehow Wisconsin came out on top in a victory that was painful for all of us. (Painful for me because Wisconsin won so convincingly, and painful for everyone else because they were rooting for Nebraska.)

After church on Sunday morning we went out for BBQ, wandered campus, and then watched the College Station Christmas parade. It should be noted that we wore tank tops to the Christmas parade - it felt more like a 4th of July parade than a Christmas parade.
Will and Grandma in the Century Tree.
Hey, big buddy.  
Hallie's favorite "Bingo" (Bengel) Belles.
Pretty girl.
My favorite float - a giant shopping cart.
The big guy was sweating buckets in that suit - I felt awful for him.
Thanks for visiting, Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa for Little People

Last week we attended Santa for Little People (last year it was called Dinner with Santa), the annual Christmas fundraiser at Hallie's preschool.

I took very few pictures, primarily because Tom left for his office Christmas party after only 15 minutes, and once he was gone I was on my own to chase after two kids who were literally bouncing in two different directions. Hallie was willing enough to stay near me, but I could barely keep track of Will, who seemed to think that because he'd once attended the school he now owned the joint. (It's funny though, because I remember feeling the same way whenever I returned to my elementary school as a middle schooler.)
Those ISEN professors are such characters!
Hallie and Jorja.
Hallie and Avery.
Will and Logan.
The highlight of the event for Will and Hallie was NOT the silent auction autographed-by-Johnny-Manziel football (which sold for $1,200 the night BEFORE he won the Heisman Trophy) or the towers of cookies or even Santa Claus. The highlight for Will and Hallie were the two bounce houses. I know, nothing says Christmas Party/Fundraiser like bounce houses. In hindsight, I should have sent the kids to talk to Santa first, and then let them play in the bounce houses; instead, I let them play in the bounce houses first, which meant that when it came time to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas, Will and Hallie were sweaty and disheveled. Oh well...

Waiting patiently (and seemingly deep in thought) for
their turn to meet and talk with Santa Claus.
Hi, my name is Will and I'm suddenly 16 years old.
It's freaking my mom out a little.
Introducing themselves to Santa
(and his kind of creepy elf).
Those two melt my heart!
(Will and Hallie - not Santa and his elf.)
It was a lovely evening, made all the more perfect by the fact that once we arrived home and the kids were tucked into bed, I curled up on the couch with a warm brownie, a tall glass of cold milk, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Merry Christmas to ALL of us!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Future Filmaker

Will borrows my phone A LOT. (Though not for much longer, as Tom and I plan to give him a very basic tablet for Christmas. In all honesty, the tablet will be as much a gift for me as it will be for Will, because once it's in Will's hands, my phone will be back in my hands.) The one positive to this is that on occasion, when the phone is returned to me it has on it photos and videos that Will has taken of himself.

I've posted a few of these videos of and made by Will in the past, but last week he made about 10 new videos and I wanted to post my three favorites here today.


Yes, we'll be enrolling Will in karate lessons soon.

For Mom

Apparently "I love you" and dinner grace (which he doesn't seem to know as well as I thought he did) go hand-in-hand when it comes to making videos you think your mom will like.


This was the last video Will made that day - I guess he was pretty beat after all that filming.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


We (as in Tom and I) shave Tom's head every few months or so. Tom always begins the process by wetting and conditioning his hair (which keeps it from catching in the trimmer quite as often) and then shaving the majority of his head. At that point I step in and finish things up, making sure he hasn't missed any spots and cleaning up his hairline and sideburns. When Tom's head has returned to a state of baldness, I walk away and let him sweep up the piles of hair that have accumulated around the lawn chair. Our step-by-step process has been perfected over the years, and we rarely deviate from it.

Which is why I was shocked when I stepped out onto the back porch, ready to begin my part of process, and found Hallie shaving Tom's head.

Bravery = allowing your 3-year-old daughter to shave your head.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baking in Style

While she wants nothing to do with cooking (since it has to do with, well, mealtime, and Hallie avoids most things mealtime-related like the plague), Hallie loves to help me bake. Lately, however, instead of "Hallie" joining me in the kitchen, it's been "Ironman" or "Buzz Lightyear" measuring the flour and stirring the cookie dough.

When Hallie dresses up "for fun", she wears princess dresses, high heels, and tiaras. But when she dresses up for baking, she wears super hero masks (which are difficult to see out of, as I'm sure you can tell from the picture below) and full-body armor. I guess she views baking as a dangerous job.

A dangerous job, but somebody's got to do it...those cookies aren't going to bake themselves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Naptime Attire

It's old news that Hallie likes to change her clothes during nap/rest time - for months now (pretty much ever since she graduated from a crib to a big girl bed) she's been stripping down and putting on swimsuits and/or leotards while she's supposed to be sleeping.

But when I put away Hallie's swimsuits - and I incorrectly thought that if I put away her swimsuits, perhaps she would just stay in the clothes she was wearing that day - she started created more complicated outfits.

Here are a couple recent favorites:
Winter coat, winter hat, and absolutely nothing else.  It was at least 80
degrees outside, and therefore at least 77 degrees in our house.
Long-sleeved reindeer shirt, leggings, tights, socks,
(leggings first, then tights over leggings, then socks over tights)
and black dress shoes.  Again, it was hot outside, so she
had to have been sweltering in this ensemble.
I love that Hallie still lets me (for the most part) determine what she wears to school and for special events, but I also love that she has a little crazy streak when it comes to putting together her own outfits.  I just wish that she didn't insist on wearing between three and five of them every day, because her whims are creating a lot of extra laundry for me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

For the first time since we've lived in Texas we didn't travel for a major holiday. Instead, we stayed home and hosted AJ and her boyfriend, Ferrell. The six of us spent three and half days together, celebrating the holidays (Thanksgiving and my birthday), catching up, eating and drinking, working off what we ate and drank at the gym, playing at the park, and watching football and all four Twilight movies. AJ and Ferrell watched the kids on Friday afternoon so Tom and I could go see a movie and do a little Christmas shopping, and I cooked my very first Thanksgiving dinner, as Hallie would say, all by my big girl self. (That's not entirely true, as I did have a little help here and there.)

We missed the rest of the Ferris clan, but it was wonderful to be at home and with at least some of our family.  Here's a recap!
On Wednesday afternoon, Tom took AJ, Ferrell, and Hallie
to Kyle Field while I took Will to a birthday party.
Ferrell and Tom, checking out 3-D TV.
Thank you Pinterest, for suggesting I create these
cute but simple candle and cranberry centerpieces!
This boy likes his meat!
Post-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Tom, COMPLETELY asleep, while
the rest of us enjoyed Twilight: Eclipse (if you look closely you
can see Bella on the television screen).
A beautiful birthday art project, created
by AJ and the kids, on the easel.
My haul.
After they both just started ripping open my gifts with reckless abandon,
we made them sit on the ottoman with their hands in their laps.  If they
stayed like this while I opened one gift, then I'd let them each
open a gift for me.  They were OUT OF CONTROL.
Super excited about my... TOMS shoes.  Red with white polka dots!
"You want me to put this where?"  Hallie wasn't all that
excited for Tom to lift her so high up in the air.  
Tom and I have never had a star/angel/tree topper.
A week or so ago we came across this one, which
we all loved - Hallie because it was sparkly, Will
because it's bright and colorful, and Tom and I because
it resembles a Ferris Wheel.  It's perfect for us. 
Photo courtesy of Will.
Hanging ornaments on the tree.
Will's pirate and Hallie's ballerina nutcrackers.
Admiring their work.
Thanks for coming, AJ and Ferrell!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


8am: 3 years old and wearing her mama's new glasses.

9am: 13 years old and breaking her mama's heart.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Report Cards!

Last week Will received his very first report card, which much to his dismay did not grade him on an A, B, C, D, and F scale. I'm proud to report, however, that Will "Met Expectations" in every gradable area, reads at a level "H", and writes at a level "N". I don't expect the reading and writing scales to mean anything to anyone who doesn't have a child in elementary school or isn't an elementary school teacher; I only learned about these levels a few months ago from Aunt Sara.

There was a supplement that explained the reading levels included with Will's report card, and as soon as he saw that it was possible to read at level "Z", he set a personal goal of reaching level "Z" by the end of the school year. I don't think it's very likely he'll reach that goal, but as we always say, both in all seriousness and in jest, "it's good to have goals".

Way to go, Buddy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Destructo Preschooler

It's no secret that Hallie likes to destroy things. Or to put a positive spin on her behavior, she's kind of like an engineer in that she likes to take things apart (to see how they work?) but has yet to figure out how to put these same things back together.

Here are just a few of the things Hallie has destroyed in the last 10 days.

1. Tom's Rubix Cube. I think most of us took the stickers off a Rubix Cube or two back when we were young; I know I did (sorry Dad). But not Hallie. Hallie figured out - and how is beyond us - to actually disassemble a Rubix Cube. Tom's been working Rubix Cubes for 25 years and has literally never seen a Rubix Cube come apart like this. Reassembling the cube required two hours, taking it apart the rest of the way, and using a Google tutorial to bring it back to life.

2. Her pants. I keep an ink pen in the console in my car. Somehow, in the seven minutes it took us to drive from our house to soccer practice, Hallie retrieved the pen and colored all over the pants she was wearing. I soaked and scrubbed those pants for close to an hour and put them through the washing machine twice, but eventually gave up.

3. All of our dental floss. This photo is of just a small amount of the dental floss I found scattered throughout our house. Needless to say, I didn't make any effort to save the dental floss.

4. Her socks. She used her My Little Pony's unicorn horn to poke a hole in her sock, and then stretched the hole until she could fit a couple of fingers through it. I keep Hallie's knitted sweaters out of her reach because I know with 100% certainty that if she ever got her hands on them, she'd find a thread and pull until she'd unraveled the entire sweater.

And just for fun, a link back to a couple of posts about Hallie's previous destructions.
Destructo Baby
Destructo Preschooler

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Art Show

On Halloween Eve, Hallie's school hosted its first annual Art Show Open House. In the first communications about the event it was mentioned that "costumes were welcome", since the event would be the night before Halloween and kids are always looking for more reasons to wear their Halloween costumes. It seemed that perhaps I was the only person who received that memo, however, as Hallie was the only child I saw wearing a costume that evening. She looked awesome as Super Girl though.
With her pumpkin painting.
With a few of her classroom projects.
Hallie's jack-o-lantern - notice how she created a face
on each of the four sections of the pumpkin.
Hallie's owl - this may someday make it into a frame
to be hung in her owl-themed bedroom.
This is very typical Hallie artwork - she works very slowly and with great
care at the beginning (the "H" and the "a") and then runs out of time or
supplies and has to speed through the remainder of the project.
Hallie's Halloween spider.
Ever since the art show, whenever Hallie plays pretend she pretends she's at an art show.  Or that she's Super Girl.  Or that she's Super Girl, saving an art show from impending destruction.